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An officer with the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland has been cleared of any wrongdoing over the fatal shooting of a man who attacked him multiple times in what looks to be a “suicide by cop” situation.

Buildup

Officer Anand Badgujar, 32—and a two-year veteran of the department—was on patrol in Silver Spring when he observed a man later identified as 41-year-old Robert White walking down Three Oaks Drive. Badgujar’s attorney later said his attention was drew to White due to a “large rip in the fabric on the upper back of his outer garment, and because he abruptly moved his right hand to the right side of his body. As Officer Badgujar passed Three Oaks Drive, Robert White continued to stare at the marked police vehicle as it traveled on Sligo Creek Parkway.”

When White noticed Badgujar’s vehicle, he changed directions and then “bladed his right side away from Officer Badgujar and thrust his right hand into his right jacket/hoodie pocket while raising his right shoulder.” After he this, White started walking faster while looking over his shoulder at Badgujar.

“These actions in their totality (based on his training and experiences), made Officer Badgujar believe that Robert White was armed,” Badgujar’s attorney said.

Montgomery County Police Officer Shooting

As a result, Badgujar exited his vehicle and called out to White. White turned toward him and then attempted to assault him. In the body camera video, White can be seen trying to grab Badgujar’s gun and yelling out, “Do it!”

During a brief physical altercation, Badgujar tried to pepper spray White, but it had no effect.

Keeping White in his sight, Badgujar requested backup and then went to his cruiser to turn off the ignition. When he did so, White started running at him. Badgujar backed up and White knocked him down.

That’s when Badgujar discharged his duty gun.

White fell. However, he quickly got back up and stood over Badgujar—who was still on the ground—and continued his assault on him. He yells out, “Do it again!” in the body camera video.

Badgujar fired additional rounds, once again causing White to fall to the ground, this time for good.

Backup arrived on the scene and White was taken to an area hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. It was eventually discovered that he was unarmed. Badgujar was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

Justified

Last week, the Office of the State’s Attorney’s for Howard County announced that Badgujar was justified in pulling the trigger.

“After reviewing all of the pertinent evidence and after a thorough review of the law, by myself and other members of our senior staff, we have, unanimously, concluded that Officer Badgujar’s actions were justified under the circumstances. As a result, no further action will be taken by this office,” said State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino.

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